Is “packaging” the cure for information overload?

Is “packaging” the cure for information overload?

February 18, 2013

As a communicator, it’s your mission to provide useful, relevant information to employees. But ask employees about their experience, and they’re likely to say they are overloaded by the amount of communication they receive. And the onslaught of messages often means employees miss information that matters to them (and to the organization).

What’s the solution? A University of Texas study reported on the Nielsen Journalism Lab website offers a tantalizing clue about how to manage a large quantity of information in a way that doesn’t create overload.

The answer may lie in how information is “packaged.” When the platform for news is expansive and infinite (such as what you find on Facebook or a web page), it seems more overwhelming. But when information is presented in a more constrained format (such as on a smartphone or in an email newsletter), it seems more easily digestible.

For me, this once again makes the case for e-newsletters, smartphones apps and other ways to put information in smaller packages. Your intranet is an essential hub of information, but like a busy train station at rush hour, it can seem noisy and difficult to navigate.

The idea, of course, is to make it easy (and stress-free) for employees to process the information they need.

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